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KPMTCC submits MoU to Siddaramaiah

Karnataka: Private schools ask CM to crack the whip against edu department and minister

May 13, 2024
– Reshma Ravishanker 

Private schools in Karnataka have submitted a memorandum to the chief minister Siddaramaiah asking him to crack the whip against apathetic officials in the education department and sought to improve correspondence with school education minister, Madhu Bangarappa.

Addressing a media briefing following the SSLC results last week, Karnataka Private School Managements, Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff Co-ordination Committee (KPMTCC) said that top officials of the education department were not accessible to address their concerns or showed apathy towards them.

D Shashikumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) and convenor of KPMTCC, said that despite several long-standing issues that must be resolved by the education department, neither the top rung officials (commissioner or directors) nor the minister took any interest.

“It was about five months ago that we had a meeting with the minister. He gave us a patient hearing. After that, he has been incommunicado. We wonder if his PS is taking charge,” Shashikumar remarked.

Kumar also complained that the officials in the education department who usually serve short terms are highly influenced by the lower rung officials who are complacent.

“The status of education in the state and the department itself is in ruins. If the chief minister does not wake up immediately, we will only see the worse in days to come,” said Kumar.

This discussion comes in the wake of several recent controversies involving the education department.

It may be recollected that the newly introduced board exams for classes V, VIII and IX are still in an imbroglio. Court orders on whether they are legitimate have left students confused. The final order by Karnataka High Court asked the government to withhold results even after the exams were conducted.

CET fiasco

Kumar alleged that only two questions were out of syllabus in the CET question papers while the rest were tailored to cater only to students in some coaching centres.

“We have come to know that those lecturers who set papers also take classes in private tutorials. They highlight some questions there which are application based and are bound to appear in the exams. Only those attending coaching benefit,” he said, adding that they would get to the root cause of the issue.

Register playschools

Citing that a mere 17,000 play schools were registered with the education department, the KPMTCC said that many act as “feeders” to international schools. “They strike a deal with international schools to direct students there. The fee charged for students partly goes to the playschool and partly to these international schools. State board schools are suffering because of this,” he said.

Andhra Pradesh interference

The KPMTCC claimed that most educational institution groups, hailing from Uttara Kannada and Andhra Pradesh have been functioning illegally. They alleged that permission is sought for one school and other branches are opened. “There is an active lobby from Andhra Pradesh who is even involved in the CET mess,” said Kumar. 

Legalise integrated coaching

While claiming that several international schools were offering integrated education (offering competitive exam training alongside usual syllabus),  KPMTCC claimed that the state deeming it as illegal, yet not acting against these institutions is hypocrisy. They sought that it be legalised instead and allow state board schools to offer the same. 

Also read:

Home visits, positive reinforcement helped Udupi push up its rank in Karnataka SSLC Exams

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